Unconditional University Offers

(26 Posts)
Shellformby Sat 22-Dec-18 09:57:22

My DD has received a number of offers from Russell Group Unis to do Sociology but now has an unconditional from Nott Trent
Im frightened now that she will ‘settle’ and not work for the higher regarded Unis
I just wish unconditionals were not offered , shes flattered but Im cross , they are just after the fees I think 🤔

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Sat 22-Dec-18 10:47:09

DD has one UiF so far, from UEA, which she really likes and is only a back up because its usual offer (BBB) is lower than that of the other four universities / courses that she also really likes (she only applied to universities that fell into this category once she had visited them). We can't make UEA make higher usual offers, to make it look more 'desirable' to the casual observer, nor can we make any university change its offer pattern and drop the UiFs. All we can do is
- remind DD that she needs to wait for all her responses to come in (unless she wants to withdraw her application from the remaining two - which she doesn't)
- give all of them due consideration, because at the very least, she has until the beginning of May to enter her responses (which she probably knows, since she's the one dealing with the UCAS prpcess) and
- just remind her that if, after all, she decides to make UEA her firm choice, BBB or lower is not her target for A level grades, as she is still capable of the AAA her teachers have predicted and she may well need those grades at some point in the future (all of which, I'm also pretty sure she already appreciates, from previous conversations on the subject).

Four years ago, DS1 had two 'Unconditional if firmed' offers out of his five. He eventually accepted one of them, but still met (or possibly exceeded) his original offer from that university. He couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't want to carry on trying to, for the sake of their own self-esteem? Why do you think that your DD in particular would think otherwise?

DS2's HT acknowledged at the school's recent prizegiving, that people often rib him for his mantra, 'Success is a choice'. I tend to be one of them, but cértainly push, 'Trying your hardest is a choice'.

BringOnTheScience Sat 22-Dec-18 13:34:31

DC1 currently has a UiF from a RG uni. It's not their first choice though, so it's not going to impact. Another RG has made a '2 grades lower if Firm' offer.

So, it is done by 'higher regarded' ones too. Not just for the fees. It can simply be a genuine sign that they regard that applicant highly.

Theoryofmould Sat 22-Dec-18 13:41:57

My dd had an unconditional that could be used as an insurance. She is at a RG now, she decided she really didn't want to go to a lower ranked uni for her degree choice.

Theoryofmould Sat 22-Dec-18 13:43:41

Pressed too soon. She also received an ABB offer from Exeter if she firmed them when thecorse requires AAA. So as said above, the RG's send them out too.

idea888 Sat 22-Dec-18 20:39:28

A friend of my dc has 3 UiF offers from non-RG unis, and 1 conditional offer from an RG (& waiting for one more to respond). She's from a family where she'd be the first person to go to university, so it's hard for her to see that maybe she should aim high and go for the RG which is her favourite. I find it quite worrying that unconditionals are sending the wrong signals to students like this who might not have the confidence to turn down a certain place.

Questionsmorequestions Sat 22-Dec-18 20:43:53

One of mine had an unconditional offer which he took, got higher grades and a bursary because of them. It was the best thing for him; alleviated pressure but he did incredibly well and has continued to do so after leaving.


Rosieposy4 Sat 22-Dec-18 21:19:42

They work for the hardworking, easily stressed student by taking the pressure of but as a teacher in general they are not a good thing, too many students take their foot totally off the pedal if they get one.

greathat Sat 22-Dec-18 23:19:41

I teach sixth formers. So many just go for the unconditional and then stop trying. Plus the unconditional offers often seem to come with perks like free laptops etc... annoys the crap out of me!

Questionsmorequestions Sun 23-Dec-18 09:05:02

That’s a shame but those same students may struggle at uni anyway if they don’t have drive and self motivation. My dcs school was very good with their advice and the offer of a bursary if higher results were achieved was also a motivator

NicoAndTheNiners Sun 23-Dec-18 09:09:36

Dd has an unconditional offer. She genuinely really likes the uni and course and has decided to put it down for her insurance offer. So I think she will still work as she wants to get BBB for her first choice.

However she's been really poorly over the last six months and has missed a lot of school and been in hospital. Think her attendance this year is 70%. There's a good chance she could have flare ups between now and A levels so personally I'm grateful for the unconditional offer.

BubblesBuddy Sun 23-Dec-18 09:27:36

OP. Push (in a kind way) for the best of the RG university for sociology. It’s not the best for employment prospects afterwards wherever you go, even if you get a first. The university will matter.

Piggywaspushed Sun 23-Dec-18 09:49:02

nico is that allowed? Lots of unis offering unconditionals don't allow them to be used as insurance. That would make decision making for my DS so much easier if they did ( 2 unconditionals and one standard offer, so far), but the new trend is 'unconditional , if firmed' which I do find rather blackmaily (not a word but apt!)

Theoryofmould Sun 23-Dec-18 10:09:55

Piggy as I said above, Leicester let you put unconditionals as an insurance so there must be a few others who do.

Piggywaspushed Sun 23-Dec-18 10:50:21

That's the old school way : good for Leicester! Wish there were more but UiF seems to be the new game!

Bluntness100 Sun 23-Dec-18 10:54:14

It's definitely not they want the fees. That's ridiculous. They can easily fill the places. It's they want the best students.

My daughter had one from Reading for law and rejected it for a conditional from a higher ranked Russell group, that wanted all As. and it was fine, she got them, but at the time I thought she should have taken the pressure off and just accepted it

I don't understand why you're annoyed. She sounds like a capable young woman.

jeanne16 Sun 23-Dec-18 12:15:58

The unconditional offers are causing pupils to stop working so hard.Subsequently their A levels are often lower than they could be. When they are later applying for jobs, recruiters ask for these results and they are a significant factor in the recruitment. Added to this is the fact that the unconditional offers tend to come from ‘lesser’ unis, and they will struggle to get jobs further down the line. Graduate jobs are incredibly competitive.

Piggywaspushed Sun 23-Dec-18 12:55:26

That is not true of the unconditionals at all. When UCAS published their naughty list , there were an awful lot of 'greater' unis on there!

Anecdotally, I didn't notice my students working less hard last year because of unconditionals (inlcuding many who received UCs from RG unis). However, school leaders have expressed concerns about impact on their results. And I am concerned that my DS will just down tools with an unconditional in the bag. But I do need to offset that against the opportunity to gain a university degree.

sushisuperstar Sun 23-Dec-18 12:59:59


they are just after the fees I think

I agree (I work in this sector) I'd see if she gets into the others myself.

NicoAndTheNiners Sun 23-Dec-18 13:03:06

Piggy dd says she definitely doesn't have to put it as her first choice. I think I might check her ucas tracker to double check. 😁

Piggywaspushed Sun 23-Dec-18 13:20:14

Might be an idea! Both of my DS's so far are 'if firmed'.

BubblesBuddy Sun 23-Dec-18 16:08:00

It’s fairly obvious that harder to fill courses will offer more unconditional, whatever the institution. They are all fighting for the best students for their courses and to ensure the courses actually run. Sociology isn’t overly competitive even at the best RG but getting the degree from the best university on the list probably trumps an ex poly. It may also depend on what field of work she wants. If it’s social work, for example, employers won’t be too fussy, if it’s a city job, they might be!

emzw12 Sun 23-Dec-18 16:20:38

I work at a University.
My advice would be to pick the University which offers the best course, best student support services, best post-grad courses and employment opportunities in your subject.
Having a place at a Russell Group university is more prestigious.
Look through the results of the NSS (national student survey) and the PTES if she wants to do a post-grad course. Choose a university based on the course content being what you want rather than the uncon vs cond.

FozzieMK Sun 23-Dec-18 17:17:12

They can also cause problems for other students. A girl in my DD's drama class received an unconditional and started not to turn up for group rehearsals etc because she really didn't care. The group performance suffered because of this.

BasiliskStare Fri 28-Dec-18 01:11:29

OP - whether she "settles" or not may well come down to her personality or way of working. Hard to say. Amongst Ds's cohort - they would (largely) rather have chosen a university they wanted and had to wait for results rather than take an Unconditional if firmed ( of course if unconditional offer is at the place DC wants - that's different)

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